Co-producing Urbanisms

Cities are shaped by multiple interests, which often act in pursuit of conflicting visions. City-regional partnerships and growth coalitions develop strategic frameworks to address complex challenges, whilst grassroots movements and citizen collectives explore alternative urban futures.

The theme tests whether and how co-production can work across urban divides between citizens/state, the informal/ formal and research/practice to help develop progressive and sustainable urbanisms.

Research Questions

–    How do different boundary spaces and intermediation processes work to include marginalised voices in urban governance?
–    Who is included/excluded and whose expertise matters in forging alternative urban futures?
–    What innovations and experiments from research and practice inform alternative urbanisms?
–    What can we learn from comparison between urban transition approaches emerging in the Global South and North?


February 12, 2018 in Co-producing Urbanisms

New Municipalism – (Re)Claiming Democracy

Municipalism has been the magic buzzword in debates about new urban movements and the democratization of politics. In Europe it is currently associated especially with cities in Spain, the most prominent Barcelona, where the citizens platform Barcelona en Comú is…

Read More
November 22, 2017 in Blog, Co-producing Urbanisms

Participatory Cities and Urban Justice

This blog was written by Prof Beth Perry and originally appeared on the Mistra Urban Future website. Whilst a lot of attention has been paid to the Urban Sustainable Development Goal 11, with its focus on substantive issues such as…

Read More


Realising Just Cities: The Mistra Urban Futures Centre: A four-year international research programme at the Urban Institute, undertaken with partners in Sweden, Kenya and South Africa (2016-2019). It is the current collaborative framework for the Mistra Urban Futures centre, headquartered in Gothenburg at Chalmers/Gothenburg Universities, which aims to support sustainable urbanisation processes which are accessible, green and fair.

Jam and Justice: Co-producing Urban Governance for Social Innovation: An ESRC Urban Transformations project setting up an Action Research Cooperative to co-design more inclusive governance processes in Greater Manchester (2016-2019). Led by University of Sheffield, with Universities of Manchester and Birmingham, the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations and Mistra Urban Futures.

Whose Knowledge Matters? Competing and Contesting Knowledge Claims in 21st Century Cities

Knowledge Matters explores the functioning of citizen knowledge in urban decision-making and strategy development, to understand how city officials can best respond to pressing challenges (2016-2019). Funded by the ESRC through the Open Research Area initiative, in partnership with Sheffield Methods Institute and University of Twente, Netherlands.

Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals (CHIME): The project explores the uses and re-uses of different types of heritage and examines how changing relationships between music, festivals and cultural heritage sites renegotiate established understandings and uses of heritage (2016-2017). Funded by JPI Heritage Plus, with partners in Birmingham City University, University of East Anglia, University of Amsterdam and University of Gothenburg.


UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable


people still live in extreme poverty globally


in 9 people in the world today are undernourished


Voter turnout in the 2016 English local elections